When the coin is tossed before a football game, the team that wins the toss has to decide if they want to receive the opening kickoff and go right on offense. The other option is to “defer” and wait to get the ball to start the second half. Deferment is considered by many coaches as an effective game strategy.
And the same can hold true for running races.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to defer and run another day.
Obviously if you’re injured, taking the time off to heal is the right prescription every time.
But there are other reasons to defer a race.
And this fall I’ve deferred races. Not once, not twice, but thrice.
In August I deferred the Madison Half Marathon; in September it was the Ventura Half Marathon; and yesterday I deferred the Santa Barbara Half Marathon (technically I transferred SB to another racer, but it’s the same principle).
It did bug me a little that I deferred the races; the competitive part of me never likes to shy away from a challenge.
But in each instance I have to believe it was the right call to defer.
For Madison, there was a huge scheduling and cost headache attached to the race and it just made common sense to push it to next year (especially since I had several other races in the surrounding weeks).
Ventura had to do more with a needed breather.
I had just come off of a really bad performance at a race (Disneyland Half Marathon) the week before. I also had the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon coming up the week after (three races in three weeks). I figured it was a good strategy to take a week off from racing to rest, shake off the bad mojo and concentrate on Big Cottonwood.
It appears that strategy worked wonders as I ended up achieving a half marathon PR at REVEL Big Cottonwood.
And then there’s Santa Barbara. Deferring this race is all about prevention.
In two weeks I’m having my most ambitious (aka crazy) running weekend ever, where I’m running three half marathons in 33 hours.
- REVEL Canyon City Half Marathon- 11/15 (7:30 am)
- Avengers Super-hero Half Marathon- 11/16 (5:30 am)
- Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon- 11/16 (4:30 pm)
This includes two races in one day in two different states (yup, there’s air travel involved in this too).
That’s going to be a lot of wear and tear on my body in a short amount of time. I can only imagine how I’ll be walking the day after.
Well, the Santa Barbara Half Marathon is scheduled for Nov. 8th (the week before my monster weekend). I’m in good shape to run Santa Barbara and part of me still wants to run it.
But doing so means I’d go into my monster weekend on potentially tired (and still recovering) legs.
In this instance, I’m going to err on the side of caution.
Now just because I’m not running a race doesn’t mean I’m going to be sitting on the sofa next weekend chowing down on leftover Halloween candy.
I plan to do a taper run next weekend and also make certain I get some extra rest too. It’s the right call and I should then be raring to go for my “3-Pack” weekend.
Besides I never have leftover Halloween candy (nom nom).
Have you ever deferred a race? What was the reason? Chime in and let me know.